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Vodafone offers an extremely thorough range of packages to suit your needs, from the bare-bones, budget-friendly Basics plans, to the thorough Unlimited Max 5G plans with Red Entertainment add-ons.
Whether you just use your phone to make the occasional call or whether you use it as your own personal handheld cinema, there’s bound to be a Vodafone mobile plan that caters to you.
Marc Chacksfield is the Editor-In-Chief of Shortlist.com, and has contributed to a number of other tech-related sites, including Techradar and Tom's Guide UK. He's also a Vodafone customer, and we asked him for his honest opinion on the provider's services:
"Having been with Vodafone for over 15 years now, I've always been impressed with the network. Every time I renew, there is a deal right for me - I recently switched to a SIM-only deal and it was seamless - and its entertainment package is a brilliant addition. Couple this with speedy 5G speeds, regular incentives and decent customer service and there’s a lot to love."
Marc Chacksfield, Shortlist.com Editor-In-Chief
15 years is a pretty good indication of a network's quality, if you ask us. Read on to find out more about Vodafone further down the page.
Although Vodafone was ranked #1 for Network Performance in the 2019 nperf Awards, it lost out to EE in 2020. Despite losing this accolade, Vodafone UK has an average download speed of 49.45Mbps, significantly higher than Three and O2. Its average upload speed of 12.17Mbps is only slightly behind EE.
As a wider global network, Vodafone offers 5G access to more European destinations than any other network (a massive 193, as of March 2021). Its 5G coverage in the UK is steadily growing, with the technology currently available in 100 UK towns and cities - this is impressive but is behind EE (112), Three (154) and O2 (108) Vodafone 5G sees average download speeds ranging between 150-200Mbps, a massive leap from 4G, which sees average speeds of 23-35Mbps.
With Vodafone mobile deals, you can choose from a wide range of SIM-only and mobile phone plans. And as you’d expect, Vodafone have loads of the latest smartphones and tablets to choose from.
With a mobile phone plan, you may have to pay an upfront cost, but the bulk of the cost of the device will be spread across your contract period, so you’ll pay for most of it through monthly instalments. For many, this is a far more convenient and economical way to get a new phone without forking out a lot of money in one go.
Among the many brands to choose from, there are phones available from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Google, Sony, Motorola and more.
Vodafone Pay Monthly phone deals are typically offered as 24-month contracts, and you won’t outright own the phone until it’s fully paid off at the end of the contract period.
Uswitch gave Vodafone the Best SIM Only Network award for 2020 but it lost this in 2021 to Three. Despite this, its budget-friendly, back-to-basics approach Vodafone has taken towards SIM-only deals by launching Vodafone Basics SIM plans should be applauded.
Currently, Vodafone’s Basics deals are as follows (as of March 2021): £6 plan (4GB of data), £8 plan (12GB of data), £10 plan (15GB of data). There’s also a newer £15 plan with 30GB of data and a £20 plan with 100GB of data. It is worth noting that you can’t use 5G currently with the Vodafone Basics plan.
All Vodafone Basics plans come as 12-month contracts. You can try out a Vodafone Basics plan for 30 days before committing, as part of the Vodafone Network Satisfaction Guarantee.
It’s worth noting that Basics customers aren’t eligible for some of Vodafone’s more lucrative freebies, such as Vodafone’s Roam Free scheme, as well as the extras, add-ons and entertainment passes that are available through Vodafone’s high-end plans.
With both SIM-only and handset-included Vodafone mobile deals, you’ll be able to choose between a Pay Monthly plan or a Pay As You Go plan. Pay Monthly plans each have a designated allowance for calls, texts and data, whereas with a Pay As You Go plan, you top up your account with credit as and when you need to. Pay As You Go top ups are customisable to suit your needs.
Vodafone’s Unlimited plan has a maximum download speed of 10Mbps, with which you’d have no problem streaming HD video, downloading apps and files, or gaming. If you don’t need all of that, you can opt for Unlimited Lite; its 2Mbps maximum download speed would be fine for casual browsing, social media, email and streaming music.
Available as a 5G plan, Unlimited Max offers the fastest speeds available. You can stream in Ultra HD, play large-scale multiplayer games, watch live TV, and download or share large files in an instant. Considering it offers an unlimited data allowance, it could also double as a reliable mobile Wi-Fi option, with no limits on hotspotting.
All Unlimited plans offer unlimited data, calls and texts, and SIM-only Unlimited plans are currently offered on 12-month, 24-month, and 30-day contracts.
There are a number of extras and add-ons you can add to your Vodafone Pay Monthly mobile plan.
You can choose International Saver 100 and 500, which lets you buy an allowance of calls to 100 overseas destinations, for 100 or 500 minutes a month, respectively. For texts, you’ll need to add International Texts in addition, which will allow 100 international texts per month.
You can add additional data to your allowance, by simply sending a text whenever you need a booster. There are extras available for unlimited picture messages, access to 08 numbers, and extra minutes to UK mobiles and landlines.
Vodafone also has a number of Entertainment plans, which lets you choose a free subscription to Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, Sky Sports Mobile TV, or NOW TV Entertainment Pass as part of your monthly mobile package.
All Vodafone mobile plans currently come with a three-month free trial of the Secure Net app, which provides protection against malicious files and viruses on your device, and allows you to set up parental controls, among other features.
Taking advantage of the range of services Vodafone UK has to offer, you’ll be able to bundle together mobile and superfast broadband packages at discounted rates, whether you’re already a customer for one service or you’re completely new to Vodafone.
The discount will vary depending on the mobile plan you choose, and Vodafone Together is available with any SIM-only, Pay Monthly or Mobile Broadband plan. The discount will be automatically applied if you’re eligible, as soon as your home broadband goes active.
You will also be able to add further Pay Monthly plans to your account to unlock a 15% Family Discount. All Vodafone Together customers will receive a 50GB data boost on their mobile any time their Vodafone Broadband experiences a major fault.
Vodafone boasts more roaming destinations than any other UK network, with coverage in up to 152 worldwide destinations. Vodafone is also the first UK network to offer 5G roaming, currently in 47 towns and cities across Europe.
All Vodafone mobile customers will be able to roam free in 52 European destinations. Vodafone also has the Roam Further plan, with an additional 104 destinations. Roaming in any Roam Further destination currently costs just £6 a day. For this price, you will be able to use your data as you would at home – with whichever data allowance you’ve signed up for. Unless you’re an Unlimited customer, in which case you will have a roaming cap of 25GB a day.
You can also purchase Global Roaming Plus, which allows roaming in 81 destinations, free of charge. All Unlimited Max customers will automatically receive Global Roaming Plus for free. Currently Vodafone won’t be changing this, despite the UK now being out of the EU.
As a major provider, Vodafone has a range of perks for customers:
Making it easy to keep track of your usage and bills, or contact customer service, the My Vodafone app is free to download and lets you keep on top of admin.
The VeryMe Rewards are weekly perks offered to Vodafone customers. Accessed via the My Vodafone app, the deals are personalised to your interests, from a free coffee to cheap cinema tickets and competitions. Only mobile customers are eligible for VeryMe rewards. Home broadband customers or mobile broadband customers will not be able to take advantage. If you’re a Pay as You Go customer, you will have to top up £10 every 6 weeks to use the reward scheme.
Depending on your device, you may be covered by a one or two-year warranty plan for no extra cost. This means any issue with the hardware or software (not including accidental damage) or damage to the accessories in the box will be repaired or replaced.